Saturday, January 20, 2007

In answer to a comment, I'm assuming it's going to make national news because I already fielded several emails from the heartland as well as NYC media. The BBC and Swedish Broadcasting has contacted me as well. I can only surmise those people are interested as well and that means International news. That's all I know.

Friday, January 19, 2007

In reference to comments regarding eating cheese and walking that shadow line in the middle of the boulevard, the fact is I catch it from both sides. Two quick examples. I had a Detective 2 tell me I was figuratively performing an act on a guy from the other side of the street. Too friendly with the opposition, according to him. Then a week later, the older brother of a guy I was talking to pretty much accused me of the same thing. Happens all the time. Occupational hazard. I've learned not to jump to conclusions until all the facts are in. Those who know, do know. Those who don't, will guess. Have a great weekend.
Oh boy, here it comes. In case you missed it, the suits and uniforms made their appearance on 204 yesterday after the "Truce" was signed by people who weren't fighting. The attendees included Mayor Tony V., Chief Bratton, Sheriff Baca, Janice Hahn and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller among others. When the head Fed shows up, you know the heat's on. The thrust of the press op was to announce a "campaign for the 'strategic dismantling' of two street gangs" according to the LA TIMES. In addition to the usual law enforcement presence, the Federal authorities will also send in the DEA and ATF. Yikes! One interesting approach is to put LASD and LAPD in the same radio car. It looks like the LAPD and LASD have also signed a truce because those two agencies have never gotten along all that well. The Feds will provide electronic surveillance (wiretaps) and obversation posts (eyeballs on the street). The Mayor offered carrots and sticks in the form of "services and suppression" to put, "you [204] out of business."

Throwing a kink in the works was Aqeela Sherrills who doesn't seem to know what he wants. He wanted after-school and youth programs but then criticized spending money. The Times quoted him saying, "They are going to spend millions of dollars even though Najee Ali already brought about a peace treaty." On the subject of the "peace treaty" Chief Bratton said on TV last night, "I don't believe in fairy tales." From all the indicators, the "truce" sure looked like a fairy tale because the shooters on both sides were no shows. And for sure there are shooters on both sides. Sherrils and Ali are probably a little pissed off they weren't invited to the press op party. In the game of power brokering, those two are more like gate crashers than mediators.

Why all this attention to a conflict that's been going on for years? For one, it's because the cat's out of the bag. The media, politicians and activists could only keep a lid on it for so long. Now it's getting national attention and while all the parties involved are genuinely disgusted with street violence, there's probably the feeling that they don't want this happening on their watch. If you're a politician with aspirations to higher office, you don't want a future political opponent pointing a finger and saying your record as a civic leader sucks. This is what happened to Mayor Jerry Brown in Oakland. Of course, he failed up. He was such a dismal failure riding herd on the street killings in Oakland, that he was rewarded by being elected the State's top cop. Go figure that one out.

Also, regardless of snow in Malibu, summer's coming and that means the kids will be taking the guns out of the gym lockers and bringing them home for the holidays. Is that too cynical? Maybe. But we've got all the ingredients brewing right now for major 415s, a.k.a riots. And riots don't just kill people, they kill political careers.

While the media totally ignored this, one of the flash points of the current race violence was when Demian Williams and his homies dragged Hispanics out of their cars, beat them, robbed them and then spray painted them. These were civilians, not soldados. The Big Homies put a major green light on Football and the Mara was only too happy to pick that up. It was lucky for him the LAPD got to Football first.

So 204 right now is the most recent participant in the whack-a-mole game. Welcome to Gaza.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The truce in Harbor Gateway is apparently a flop. The soldados from 204 who were supposed to show up this afternoon to sign a truce never made an appearance. Najee Ali never indicated who the other side to sign the truce was supposed to be. So the only people to sign the truce were people who weren't fighting to start with. In other words, civilians who weren't involved in the friction except as victims of the crossfire. So the truce must have been worded something like, "We promise to continue not shooting you." This is like Iceland declaring a truce with Lichtenstein. As much as we would have liked a different outcome, it looks like the entire peace initiative was a total figment of the public's imagination. Political myth, may we introduce you to reality? Tomorrow Tony V., Chief Bratton and others will travel to that neighborhood and will hopefully apply common sense to the infected area and continue application until the issue is resolved. Maybe.
With all the concerned parties looking hard at Connie Rice's jumbo gang study and more or less mulling it over, Rocky Delgadillo apparently has some reservations. He doesn't want to create a new giant bureaucracy. It's a legitimate concern but it may be a premature concern until they figure out how to run it, where to put it, and how it will work. We wondered why Rocky voiced reservations so quickly until we dug up an LA Times announcement from November 2006 in which Rocky named former Federal Prosecutor Bruce Riordan to head the LA City Attorney's gang prosecution and intervention efforts. When Rocky made that announcement he called Riordan his new "Gang Czar." It appears that Delgadillo was already laying the groundwork to have the new anti-gang organization attached to or under the supervision of the City Attorney's office. We wonder if Rocky would be objecting as strongly to a new bureaucracy if this new entity was placed directly under his supervision? One of the problem with politicians is that they're always looking to carve out little empires for themselves. It's called job security.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

TRUCE ON 204th.
There's been an interesting development in Harbor Gateway. After all the airtime and ink in the aftermath of the Cheryl Green homicide, Najee Ali has apparently brokered a truce between 204th Street and parties that to date have not been named. The representative from 204, according to the article in the Daily Breeze, is someone named Jonathan O'Gorman. The Breeze states he's a 16-year veterano from that neighborhood. The details on the "truce" are vague but apparently everybody concerned wants to stop the threatened injunction and use the truce as a bargaining chip to get a community center and jobs. There's an awful lot not known about this. For instance, who's signing for the other side? And what are the penalties for breaking the truce, if any? Will they yank the jobs and demolish the center if somebody breaks the truce? Will they rat him out? And what's O'Gorman's horsepower for keeping the soldados in line? We wish all parties the best of luck and we're keeping our fingers crossed. Here's the link to the story.